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Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign: How the Critical Role of Intelligence Impacted the Outcome of Lee's Invasion of the North, June-July 1863
     

Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign: How the Critical Role of Intelligence Impacted the Outcome of Lee's Invasion of the North, June-July 1863

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by Thomas Ryan
 

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WINNER of the 2015 BACHELDER-CODDINGTON LITERARY AWARD and WINNER of the 2016 GETTYSBURG ROUND TABLE’S DISTINGUISHED BOOK AWARD

As intelligence experts have long asserted, “Information in regard to the enemy is the indispensable basis of all military plans.”

Despite the thousands of books and articles written about Gettysburg, Tom Ryan’s

Overview

WINNER of the 2015 BACHELDER-CODDINGTON LITERARY AWARD and WINNER of the 2016 GETTYSBURG ROUND TABLE’S DISTINGUISHED BOOK AWARD

As intelligence experts have long asserted, “Information in regard to the enemy is the indispensable basis of all military plans.”

Despite the thousands of books and articles written about Gettysburg, Tom Ryan’s groundbreaking Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign: How the Critical Role of Intelligence Impacted the Outcome of Lee’s Invasion of the North, June – July 1863 is the first to offer a unique and incisive comparative study of intelligence operations during what many consider the war’s decisive campaign.

Based upon years of indefatigable research, the author evaluates how Gen. Robert E. Lee used intelligence resources, including cavalry, civilians, newspapers, and spies to gather information about Union activities during his invasion of the North in June and July 1863, and how this intelligence influenced General Lee’s decisions. Simultaneously, Ryan explores the effectiveness of the Union Army of the Potomac’s intelligence and counterintelligence operations. Both Maj. Gens. Joe Hooker and George G. Meade relied upon cavalry, the Signal Corps, and an intelligence staff known as the Bureau of Military Information that employed innovative concepts to gather, collate, and report vital information from a variety of sources.

The result is an eye-opening, day-by-day analysis of how and why the respective army commanders implemented their strategy and tactics, with an evaluation of their respective performance as they engaged in a battle of wits to learn the enemy’s location, strength, and intentions.

Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign is grounded upon a broad foundation of archival research and a firm understanding of the theater of operations that specialists will especially value. Everyone will appreciate reading about a familiar historic event from a perspective that is both new and enjoyable. One thing is certain: no one will close this book and look at the Gettysburg Campaign in the same way again.

Editorial Reviews

Edwin C. Bearss
“Thomas Ryan's masterfully researched and written study builds upon the pioneering work of Edwin C. Fishel, Stephen W. Sears, and others. Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign is destined to become a classic Civil War study.”
author of Grant’s Secret Service: The In Dr. William B. Feis
“Through an in-depth and insightful examination of Union and Confederate intelligence organizations, personnel, and operations during the 1863 Gettysburg campaign, Thomas Ryan details how George Meade’s success in the behind-the-scenes ‘intelligence battle’ against Robert E. Lee set the stage for Union victory in the three-day engagement. This book is an important and original contribution to our understanding of why Lee lost, why Meade won, and the titanic clash in Pennsylvania.”
award-winning author of The Chickamauga Campaign David A. Powell
“Accurate and timely information is the lifeblood of great generalship. Too often do military historians neglect exploring the flow of information and the effect it has on the decision-making of the great captains. Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign, the excellent new book by Thomas Ryan, gives us a new and insightful window into Lee’s decisions and the Union effort to counter them and helps us understand why the campaign ended as it did
award-winning author of The Complete Guide to Gett J. David Petruzzi
“No one has studied the critical (and largely overlooked) role that intelligence played in the Gettysburg Campaign like Thomas Ryan. The vital information collected by scouts, spies and civilians—and how it was processed and used by the opposing high commands—is told here for the first time in tremendous detail that helps complete the story of how and why the campaign developed as it did, and the battle ended with Lee’s defeat.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611211788
Publisher:
Savas Beatie
Publication date:
06/19/2015
Pages:
504
Sales rank:
636,635
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

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Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign: How the Critical Role of Intelligence Impacted the Outcome of Lee's Invasion of the North, June 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
civiwarlibrarian More than 1 year ago
Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign is very likely the first study that compares and contrasts the Confederates' and Federals' work of gathering, using, and misusing strategic and tactical intelligence during the Gettysburg Campaign. Ryan, former U.S. Army and U.S. Department of Defense intelligence analyst, presents an informed and compelling narrative that at times becomes suspenseful though, of course, the reader knows the outcome. Having published six related articles between 2002 and 2005 in Gettysburg Magazine, the only magazine ever to focus on a single campaign and battle, Ryan has expanded and deepened his research in the Official Records of the Civil War, primary sources, secondary sources and online sources.In the Forward, Stephen Sears notes that Lee explained the loss at Gettysburg "was occasioned by a combination of circumstances." One of which, Lee stated, was that 'it was commenced in the absence or correct intelligence." Additionally, Sears notes that Meade, if asked, may have stated that "the battle was won because of the timeliness and accuracy of intelligence." Predecessor to Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign is Edwin C. Fishel's 1996 The Secret War for the Union: The Untold Story of Military Intelligence in the Civil War. It is an extensive rendering of the evolution of Federal intelligence operations during the war. Until Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign a comprehensive documentation of Confederate intelligence efforts during the Gettysburg Campaign was nearly non-existent. Ryan offers a nearly hour-by-hour and day-by-day focus on both the Federal and Confederate generals' efforts to find and describe the movements of the opposing army. Joseph Hooker may be remembered for four positive changes he made to the Army of the Potomac during the spring 1863. He reorganized and centralized the cavalry corps; he added corps badges to the army's units; he vastly improved the system of furloughs; he created the Bureau of Military Intelligence. This unit had its own scouts and interrogated prisoners captured by both infantry and cavalry units. Contrabands and local citizens were systematically questioned. Analytical reports were prepared and placed on the desks of both Hooker and Meade. The Federal Signal Corps 'wigwag' stations reported to Federal headquarters and managed telegraphic communications Conversely, there was not systematic effort by the Confederate commanders to gather, analyze and place military intelligence in front of the headquarters staff. Longstreet had his own spies, as did Lee. Ewell and Hill relied closely upon local residents who were sympathetic to the Confederacy and depended upon maps located in Maryland and Pennsylvania county court houses. Jed Hotchkiss, Thomas Jackson's cartographer was inherited by Ewell but also worked for Lee, during the fall of 1862 and the winter of 1863. Lee was his own intelligence analyst. The Confederate Signal Corps was limited to intra-corps communications and Lee, believing that telegraphic communication was not secure, relied upon couriers. Ryan's work should not be the first book one reads on the Gettysburg Campaign. Though the style is accessible to most, readers should have a good background in the strategic and tactical workings of the campaign. Within each chapter, Ryan divides the text between five and ten brief segments. Frequently these segments introduce elements of intelligence gathering and analysis with which he has practiced in his professional career with the U.S. Army and the U.S. Department of Defense. Some readers may wish for Ryan to have paid a closer attention to Meade's orders after the Grand Assault of July 3. Neither Farnesworth's unsuccessful cavalry charge nor the successful assault of the Pennsylvania Reserves' on Longstreet's lines are addressed. One of the many strengths of Ryan'swork is that he follows the path of the intelligence through the hands of initial collectors, then Hooker, then Halleck, then Stanton, and then Lincoln. Often, Hooker tells Stanton intelligence that he does not send to Halleck, his immediate commander. As usual, politics permeates the leadership of the Army of the Potomac. The final chapter offers a nice 12 page appraisal of 'The Intelligence Battle.' Without a doubt, Thomas J. Ryan's Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign: How the Critical Role of Intelligence Impacted the Outcome of Lee's Invasion of the North, June-July, 1863 most likely will be considered one of the best Civil War books published in 2015, will be nominated for several annual book awards, and be a winner.